Is Marvel Ripping Off ‘Robot Chicken?’

Published 6 years ago by , Updated February 22nd, 2009 at 2:01 am,

robot chicken Is Marvel Ripping Off Robot Chicken?

So… have you SEEN the teaser trailer for Marvel’s internet series Marvel Super Heroes: What The–?!

Ok, well, if you haven’t seen the trailer yet, you need to go ahead and check it out here so that you can help Screen Rant answer the question: is Marvel blatantly copying off Robot Chicken???

So now that you’ve had a chance to see the trailer let’s just go ahead and put it out there: this is totally Robot Chicken’s M.O. Totally. Like, no doubt about it. I mean… the topical sketch spoofing the Christian Bale blowup; the use of action figures…  It’s like somebody up at Marvel suddenly realized, “Hey, people are watching this Robot Chicken show… They use toys… We have toys… MARVEL BRAND toys! We could totally do a show like this–and use it to cross-promote other Marvel brands! Bada-bing, bada-boom: synergy, baby!”

I can totally see somebody up at Marvel corporate totally saying that.

However, this swagger-jack move by Marvel leaves us with some important questions:

  1. With Marvel launching their own action figure sketch show, will they prohibit Robot Chicken from displaying Marvel brand toys on their show?
  2. Will the guys from Robot Chicken have the cojones to call Marvel out for jacking their swagger?
  3. Will the guys from Robot Chicken have the cojones to spoof Marvel Super Heroes: What The–?! on an upcoming episode of the show.
  4. Will Marvel Super Heroes: What The–?!, an internet-based show that’s basically a copy of a funnier TV show, actually do well?

With any luck, this post will successfully instigate the answers to at least a few of these questions.

Until then: Robot Chicken, I love you guys. Don’t let Marvel steal your thing–not without a very public and spoof-laden fight. (And I won’t even mention what Marvel said about your mom, RC. It’s not fit for print.)

Seriously though, what do you guys think about Marvel Super Heroes: What The–?!? Is there room for another action figure sketch show out there–or is Marvel taking the low road by blatantly ripping off Robot Chicken‘s formula? RC fans, I’m definitely looking at you.


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  1. Yea I kind of agree with meolody it’s more of a randomguy rip off than robot chicken. I think it’s clear why they choose the Bale moment though to make fun off. Nice shot at DC sort of.

  2. does anyone remember twisted toyfare theater?
    i loved those toy skits, yeah i know its comicbook-like, not an animated toy, but it’s similar, in concept because it used marvel characters and storylines. And I used to read these about 4 years ago. Also wasn’t there a mixed cartoon type show, that had a segment where there toys would go on adventures, ala jla or avengers, super team, but got into shenanigans? That could be considered a predecessor to robot chicken, and the internet guy.
    Ohoh and I’m not sure if it’s the same internet guy but the person who made those mac vs. pc commercial spoofs, but using marvel and dc?

    I’m not trying to pick a side because, well I’m not too concerned either way, just saying let’s not call people/companies out on doing something everyone is a little guilty of, and that’s using pre-existing ideas and adapting them. If this marvel thing gets good and makes it’s own style it might work and become unique. If it’s just a copy it’ll die out when no one cares. :)

  3. almanza: Yes, same guy. However he also posted what amounts to two movies/hour-long episodes. The trouble with them ‘borrowing’ the ideas is that the honest and good thing to do would have been to hire ItsJustSomeRandomGuy, who is not contracted out to anyone.

  4. “Hamilton steered clear of T3 when it was in production, and we all know how THAT film turned out.”

    Yes, it turned out great.

  5. Oops sorry guys. Don’t know what the hell happened there.

  6. The marvel “What The” segments have appeared in Marvel comics years before Robot Chicken was created so I doubt RC would have a leg to stand on should they try to take legal action….

  7. @ melody

    why should they higher that guy?
    it’s marvel they have some top writers and i’m sure they know top animators/stop motion people
    (i did like some of those youtube vids, the first ones where funny, then not so much at the end). Besides they don’t owe the guy anything, he made some funny fan-fic, that’s all. Back to the articles point I agree with T, I don’t think robot chicken would be able to successfully lawsuit, I mean they don’t own the idea of playing with toys comically and filming it. But marvel might have it in their power to be a-holes and not let them use their toys.
    why can’t we play nice…. oh yeah money. lol :)

  8. I don’t think “lawsuit” was ever the issue here (It certainly wasn’t brought up in my post). And despite whoever esle is out there doing it on the ‘Net, Robot Chicken has set the precedence for this type of show being successful. somerandomguy on You Tube… not so much.

  9. It’s definitely more a rip on ItsJustSomeRandomGuy who has been asked to do intros for Marvel at Comiccons and such.

    Robot Chicken more parodies these characters mixing it into other movies/TV shows.

    Either way, this looks hilarious and I want to see more. I love them making fun of DC’s Batman star, Bale.

    As for Robot Chicken, I love that show but they rarely do Marvel parodies :( I want more!

  10. Well for me that just wasn’t funny.

    Robot Chicken can be a bit hit and miss, but when it hits it is very funny. I do think they will make fun of this too. I hope so.

    As for Randomguy, I love his work. Greengoblin and Lex Luthor doing their duet will never be forgotten. :D

  11. Wow I guess I’m going to have to check up on this ItsJustSomeRandomGuy guy. People seem to like him.

  12. I’m of two minds about this one. What The?! has been in the marvel universe for years. Well over 20. I think the format itself is a bit of a rip off but it fits the whole idea behind what the?!

  13. @ppnkof

    yeah you’re right, i just used the wrong words. but i just ment i don’t think R.C. would be able to call them out, without looking kind of idk wrong

  14. I like it. I like Robot Chicken. I don’t care, either way, I’ll probably watch it. I’ll watch both. The animation on the Marvel show seems to be slightly better than RC tho, just sayin’.

    And I want those damn action figures! :-D

  15. Answer for 2 and 3, yes they will. I mean, they mocked their own show when they won that award for best animation. So I think they will, because of that and people will expect it.

  16. Marvel is kinda ripping off RC, but who cares. It’s Marvel’s toy line, let’em do what they want. RC wouldn’t be able to hold a lawsuit, and it’s not like Marvel would lose anything from people like saying this is a ripoff. Marvel has a good head on this one – this project is cheap to make and distribute, if it doesn’t work, not much lost (again assuming no lawsuit). Put it out there and see what happens.

  17. Anybody remember what the?

  18. I watched Itsjustsomerandomguy’s videos on youtube, pretty funny stuff. I watched the entire series of I’m a Marvel, I’m a DC ones with Batman and Iron Man. Pretty funny, although it kind of sucks because I’m siding with Iron Man, but since it’s a Mac commercial parody, IM was supposed to be Mac since Marvel starts with a M like Mac and DC is supposed to be PC, obviously, and I don’t understand why people would want to pay more for a computer that does less. I’m a PC guy all the way. So oh well, looks like I’m on the Mac side in the parody, lol. Pretty funny though, love how Jesus came back and brought with him the rapture, but only after the 7:30 showing so he can watch TDK, lol.

  19. @ T.
    well there where lik only 1 or to issues of “MARVEL What The..? ” and it was a X-treemly Lame story about vemon, unless ur refering to the “What If” series there have been many of those,(where as my Fav. Being the one where the Venom sybiote consumes Frank castle).
    it was great

  20. Is Marvel “Ripping Off” Robot Chicken?

    Who cares! I’m surprised that Marvel has not done this sooner! Or, that even DC has not even done this!

    ItsJustSomeRandomeGuys videos are great though, and the jokes are smartly written. I’m sure most will like the Luthor/Goblin pairing but my fav’ has to be when Spidey & Horn-Head are talking about each other’s movies. Spidey mentions Affleck is in the DD film and he asks DD, “You didn’t see it?” HA, that was great!
    He also does a good job of getting all of their character’s right. Spidey’s wisecracks are fitted correctly for example.

  21. @Rorschach No, actually “What The” was a strip most often found on the Bullpen Bulletins pages INSIDE many different Marvel Titles way back when, not just a singular issue of a comic.

  22. They are ALL emulating ”Twisted Toyfare Theater”.

  23. @Ian,

    LOL! I love TTT! I wish they would/could use DC characters too.